Besides offering data analysis on mutual funds, stocks and hedge funds, Morningstar is now going to be offering such information on options, Dow Jones reports.

The company said it is going to be offering the research due to individual investors’ interest in derivatives.

“More individual investors are trading options,” said Philip Guziec, a derivatives strategist at Morningstar. In fact, he said, the options industry has been growing about 25% a year for the past few years.

Year to date through August, 1.82 billion equity options contracts have been traded on exchanges, up 37.5% from the same period in 2006, according to Options Clearing Corp. That’s far bigger growth than in stock or futures trading, according to Options Clearing.

And the Chicago Board Options Exchange said its equity options volume rose 42% in 2006 to 390.7 million contracts.

“Options are going more mainstream,” said Joseph Cusick, a senior market analyst for optionsXpress.

Besides offering information on options, Morningstar is also considering offering the same for futures, Guziec said.

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